Nonfiction


Refugees Unwelcome in Australia

Reading the Signs of a Humanitarian Crisis
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Australia has a problem with the refugees coming to its shores. These migrants, who have journeyed by boat hoping for safe passage through the guarded coastal border, might be fleeing war or persecution, but some officials worry about letting in the "wrong" kind of people. According to Australian immigration minister Peter Dutton, this island republic -- founded long ago on occupied Aboriginal land as a penal colony to contain criminal exiles of the British empire -- finds these refugees unfit for admission.

Free Movement and the Right to Public Space

Seeking Emancipation for Transgender Immigrants in Detention
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There’s a culture war brewing in some unlikely corners of the country, over where, when and how LGBTQ people have a right to be. The public school bathroom has become the new flashpoint in a pitched battle over trans people’s access to public space, and the recognition of their right to privacy and personal dignity. But what about in more obscure spaces, where the question of “security” takes on a different valence in the shadow of the criminal justice system?

Boxed Voices

Voices from UK Detention Centers
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Most of us hear and see only cursory mentions of "immigrant detention" on the news--it's a clinical label, scrubbed of all the visceral emotion and social tension that constricts detained migrants just as forcefully as their cell walls do. Last year we saw flashes of the migrant detention crisis with images of kids huddled under blankets, exhausted from trekking across the continent, and of European asylum seekers thronging against metal gates and braving giant plumes of tear gas.

The Insurgent Language of Cities

Jane Jacobs knew where people, not property rule
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This week marks the 100th birthday of one of the iconic thinkers of the American city, Jane Jacobs. Back in the 1960s and 70s, before words like "gentrification" had been popularized, the "development' of cities was spreading a deep malaise to which urban denizens like Jacobs bore witness: whole neighborhoods were being uprooted and displaced, and "slum clearance" and "urban renewal" (aka Black Removal) was being deployed by municipal planners and real estate moguls to essentially atomize and liquidate the population of the unwanted masses.

A Guilty System

Two Mothers, Two Lives Cross in Pursuit of Justice
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The Black Lives Matter movement in New York City has lit a fire underneath a longstanding struggle against police violence. The criminalization of the lives of people of color is etched into the cityscape, imprinted in the shadows that haunt the cavernous towers of the projects. The city's neighborhoods are constantly walking a taut tightrope between security and terror, and the two so easily shade into each other when the halogen lights glow too dimly, and in a desolate corner of Pink Houses, visions are clouded by fear. And the tightrope snaps. Bang.

The Art of Resistance

The Spectacular Politics of Protest at the Guggenheim
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April 28, 2016

Abu Dhabi, a glamorous outpost of one of the world's greatest oil empires--is facing the classic dilemma of the nouveau riche: too much wealth, not enough class. But that can be easily corrected with a little strategic neoliberal development aimed at fast-tracking the Middle Eastern vassal state onto the cultural vanguard.

A Home for Books

A Refugee Reclaims her Homeland through the Stories that Healed Her
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April 27, 2016

I was raised in a suburb outside of Houston, Texas, where even today a purposeful life for a woman is one where she manages a home and family, while her personal aspirations may take a back seat until they are eventually forgotten.

Taco Talk II

Talking art, eating tacos with Breena Nuñez
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The second installment of Taco Talk, a space where we invite artivists to have some tacos while we chat and learn more about who they are, their art and process, and to uncover a bit of what drives their work!

The City of Angels has Two Faces

Ramiro Gomez depicts the underside of the Sunset Strip
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When you look at David Hockney’s paintings of suburban Los Angeles in the 1960s and 70s, you see glamor turned at a clever angle in the unforgiving sun, to mask the subsurface decay. It’s plastic surgery gone slightly wrong, the jagged lines clean and dirty at once. Pastel stucco walls hint at smudges of cheap lipstick and shattered plexiglass--the stuff that gets swept under the rug, literally and figuratively.

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A Message from Favianna Rodriguez

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